Premiere Pro - Setting up / Exporting 5.1 Audio

With Premiere Pro, with your video editing session, you also are able to work in 5.1 surround sound as well.

(For most 5.1 Audio mixing work, I would suggest doing most of your audio work on Pro Tools, then to create a AAF export file)


Check your Settings:

First thing that should be noted. If you are working with a 5.1 session but are not working with the correct speakers (Only Stereo in the Editing Suites) then you may not be able to hear all the tracks appropriately which may lead to editing issues.

There is a best course of action to make sure that sound is going through your playback appropriately. Go to the preferences tab and select audio.


On the window, there is a setting option called 5.1 Mixdown Type. Here you are able to choose which Speaker will play back on the monitors. Best choose is for Front+Rear+LFE (SubWoofer) to have all you audio come out.


Setting the Audio Mix For a 5.1 Session:

When creating a new session, adjust your sequence setting to the proper settings you need. In the settings tab, make sure that your sample rate is set to 48000 Hz. (Stander for Film)


In the Tracks tab, you will want to set the Audio Mix as 5.1. The Number of channels should lock as 6. Additionally, make sure that the track type is set to mono.


To get the Track Mixer in your workspace, go to the Main Bar and select window. Then Select Audio Track Mixer and what sequence you want to have it open for.


Now you should have a window in your work space that looks like the image below. As you can see, on the window you will have 6 Channels with a 5.1 panner display for each. You will then have to set each channel to the right speakers as all are automatically set in the center. Grab the circles in the panner and place them for each channel in the correct speaker location. This adjust each channel to output the audio coming from the channel to output to the designated speaker.

You will want your track setup in SMPTE/ITU format (L,R,C,LFE,Ls,Rs)

[This should be the set up I/O setting when making a session in Pro tools]

(Track 1 = Front Left, Track 2 = Front Right, Track 3 = Center, Track 4 = LFE (Sub woofer), Track 5 = Back Left, Track 6 = Back Right)







LFE / Track 4 Issue & Resolution


One issue that you will find while working with 5.1 in a session is the the LFE does not work as it should. In a 5.1 Session with the Track Channel Mixer, you are able to align each track to the respective speaker location. However, with channel / track 4, there is no way in the session to isolate the channel for LFE only. Audio on this track will tend to bleed with the other tracks.

There is a work around that involves using another session


When starting a project that you want 5.1 audio for, go to the Track tab. For Audio Mix, you are going to want to chose Multichannel. For Numbers of channels, chose 6. Make  sure there is 6 tracks on the list and make sure each is set as a Mono Track for Track Type.

For each audio track, make sure that the Output Assignments are assigned to the right output placement.

Audio Track 1 & 2 = Mix Track Channel 1 & 2

Audio Track 3 & 4 = Mix Track Channel 3 & 4

Audio Track 5 & 6 = Mix Track Channel 5 & 6



Once the session is made, you will want to open the Audio Track Mixer tab. (Go on the top bar, to the Window tab & select audio track mixer to obtain the window on your session)


As you can see, the panel will give you the details of your audio settings. Showing that each track is assigned to the correct channel.

For all odd number tracks (1,3,5) have them panned fully to the left and for the even numbers (2,4,6), pan them to the right. Doing this with your Mono audio files will adjust for each track to be aligned with the single monitor.

Each channel is directly linked with a Monitor / Speaker. (Channel 1 = Front Left, Channel 2 = Front Right, Channel 3 = Center, Channel 4 = LFE (Sub woofer), Channel 5 = Back Left, Channel 6 = Back Right)

We work with the SMPTE / ITU Audio Mix setup for Surround Sound Audio (Arrangment = L,R,C,LFE,Ls,Rs)




Once you are all done with your session, go ahead and export. On the export window, adjust all the settings that you need before the audio. Once Set, click on the audio tab to bring up your options.

Depending on the Format choice, your audio settings may may have different options to choose from.

For some formats, such as H.264 files, you will have the options for either a Mono, Stereo, or 5.1 Audio channel track for the export. (5.1 should automatically set to a SMPTR/ITU output.(L,R,C,LFE,Ls,Rs)

With H264


With format choices like QuickTime, you will be given various options for Audio export, including for 5.1 exports. Make sure to select 5.1 (L,R,C,LFE,Ls,Rs).

(When you make the selection, it may appear as 'Select an option' has stayed and the settings have not changed, though this may just be a glitch. Double check your Audio output on the Output details on the export {2nd photo below.}



Once you've set your audio settings, double check the Output details on the preview window for all the details of you export to make sure you have everything set.

Once you have selected the correct settings for your exported file, CLICK Export in the bottom right hand corner of the dialog box.







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